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Found 128 results

  1. Darkhorsereef

    1.5g “The Rook” Jar Reef

    So it’s been 6 months into my Reefing career and everything is running smoothly on my 29g sumped mixed reef.I decided to build a Pico Jar Reef. Running on nothing but bubbles, a light, and a heater.Equipment used:Fluval Q.5 PumpDeep Blue 7.5w heaterAbi 12W Par38 Tuna Blue LED Bulb2 gallon Anchor Hocking glass jarBiological Equipment:3lbs live rock5lbs live sandAssortment of corals, list will be put together as the cycle is being established.Stay tuned!
  2. GunslingerGirl

    Ty-ron and Precious' Crib- CC contest

    Hey all! Here is my entry into the Creative Container Pico Contest! I have been sitting on making a pico for awhile now, but the contest pushed me over the edge. The container I am using was sourced from the depths of my parent's basements. I think at one time it held a fair goldfish. I think we fed it cracker/toast dust. Clearly it didn't survive. I think it may also have actually housed cookies when my grandmother was alive. Mmmm cookies. My favorite condiment is soy sauce. Because it is liquid gold. I use it on everything. Annnnnnd now I want mongolian beef. The container is an old hexagonal cookie jar. Roughly 1.5 gallons in total volume. About one when filled with water, sand, rocks, and equipment. I am using a koralia nano 240 I had laying around. I am seeing if I even need a heater currently. I plan to keep salinity at 1.025. The light is currently a standard lightbulb. Tbd. (probably cheapo 12 W par38). The theme of this tank will be ghetto chic. Stay tuned for the awesome sauce! (and I don't mean soy sauce) God I am lame.... Equipment Inhabitants Living in the Lap of Ghetto Luxury Macros, Corals, and How the Hey Did They Get in There?
  3. Hi folks. Here is my entry and tank journal for the Creative Container Pico Contest! Picked it up at a thrift store for $6. Measured the water volume and it comes it at 1.9 gallons. No real plans as far as stocking goes. Really excited. Good Luck Everybody.
  4. Brain Coral Pico - schgr.cube's creative container contest entry Current full tank shot: It lives! October 17th, 2017
  5. Hello all, just a quick intro... I have been keeping aquariums (planted, fowlr, reef, etc.) For over 16 years now and took a little break from saltwater to have some kids. Now that my babies are all in school and I have free time again, I am back in the game. I got rid of my 36 gallon Amazon biope angel tank and made way for a Fluval Evo 13.5 which is chugging away nicely. I am now getting ready to crack into my Fluval Flex 9 Gallon that has been sitting in it's box for months now. I already have one set up as an aquatic frog terrarium for one of my kids so I was able to get a good idea of the pros and cons.  One thing I do like about it is that there is much more room in the rear compartment to fit my hand in, this is compared to the Fluval Evo 13.5 gallon tank. It also has an intake lower down on the back wall, so far down it's almost at the bottom. This is in partnership with the normal intake/overflow area up top on the back wall.  One thing I don't like, is the flow and the stock pump. They have got to go, they simply won't provide the flow needed for a reef tank. Thankfully, I have the pump from the Fluval Evo 13.5 that was upgraded to a Sicce .5 so I'll see if that fits and does the trick.  So, I'm thinking of going bare bottom, only a little rock work, changing out the filtration in the back (nobody likes those dang sponges Fluval keeps putting in there), and maybe getting a new LED light kit from somewhere like Nano Box. I think I can open up the top and take out the stock LEDs and put in some better ones, I would like to keep the hood.  The main goal is to have a decent pico sps reef with maybe a shrimp/goby pair. I don't necessarily care what kind of fish go in, so any suggestions or ideas are welcome.  Wish me luck!!  Here are a couple of pics of the Fluval Flex 9 Gallon Frog tank. You can see the top and bottom intake. Pretty cool Second pic Â
  6. AlmightyJoshaeus

    2.5 gallon pico

    Hello all! I am starting a 2.5 gallon pico tank (chiefly macroalgae oriented but may eventually add corals) in a large critter keeper and will record my progress here. No pics yet, but I will describe it; Filtration - internal homemade bottle filter (currently only some gravel to keep it down, but will have phosguard, carbon, and denitrate in it). Powered by two air lines, sufficient to keep brine shrimp slowly in suspension in the tank. Considering getting a small internal filter instead to improve circulation... Heater - generic 25 watt Flora - None currently (am adding caulerpa and chaeto tonight) Fauna - None currently Lights - A 20" and a 12" LED light from cll petsuppilies, a seller on Ebay. I have no PAR reading, but they produce 3,360 lumens put together and consist of 50% 10000k, 40% blue 460 nm, and the rest red and green LED's Water changes; Just set it up Friday, will start with 40% weekly (1 gallon) Feeding; have fed flakes and brine shrimp (how often should I feed a pico?) Will add pics at a later date.
  7. So I picked up an Evo 5 while I was out picking up a spec III for my girlfriend this weekend. This is my first attempt at saltwater and a reef so bare with me. I am already in the progress of putting together a 40g breeder as well but I haven't gotten around to cutting the bean animal overflow yet. But back to the Evo, I created this thread to track my progress and share my experiences. Any ideas, suggestions or comments are extremely welcome. I am currently going to run the evo stock until I see that upgrades are necessary for what I am wanting. FULL TANK SHOTS April 2017 February 2017 TANK SPECIFICATIONS Started: 2/27/2017 TANK - Fluval Evo 5 AIO EQUIPMENT - Hydor Theo Heater (50W) - Digital thermometer - BRS value plus rodi unit (purchased for use with 40g) - Instant Ocean Reef Crystals - inTank Media Basket - Jebao SW-2 DC Powerhead/Wavemaker LIGHTING - Nanobox Tide Plus M FILTRATION - inTank Media Basket Filled from top to bottom: Filter Pad/Floss Carbon Chemi-pure Elite Blue (nano) Biomax - Live Rock - Live Sand FEEDING - Frozen Mysis: twice a week - Reef Chili: target feeding once a week MAINTENANCE - Water Changes: 15-25% bi-weekly - Evaporation Control: RO/DI manually - Cleaning: Bi-Weekly sand bed vacuuming, live rock blasting with a turkey baster. Break down/cleaning of return pump, heater, powerhead every other month. POSSIBLE UPGRADES - Aqueon 600 to replace stock pump Was too loud, going to try to 'break it in' - Hydor Rotating Deflector Unless the Aqueon Quiets down I will not use this (would decrease stock flow too much) - Lighting (either Current USA Oribt or TrueLumen Aquatic LED Strips as an addition) Nanobox Tide Plus M - Hydor 240 / Hydor 180 / Jebao SW-2 / MP10 (dreaming) Went with the Jebao SW-2, it's awesome - Custom built media basket (egg crates) Went with the inTank model as it is really clean looking and I was lazy TANK INHABITANTS CORALS Green Florida Ricordea March 5th, 2017 Reefwise Duncan March 12th, 2017 Reefwise Orange Florida Ricordea April 30th, 2017 Reefwise Favia (Brain) April 30th, 2017 Reefwise INVERTEBRATES (1) Nerite Snails March 19th, 2017 Petland Aquatics (1) Astrea Snail March 26th, 2017 Petland Aquatics DECEASED (2) Nerite Snails March 19th, 2017 - Unknown Petland Aquatics Lost 1 to Pistol Shrimp March 29th, 2017 (2) Astrea Snail March 26th, 2017 - Unknown Petland Aquatics Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp March 19th, 2017 - Unknown Petland Aquatics 'Bam Bam' Zoanthids March 12, 2017 - Unknown Reefwise Randall's Pistol Shrimp (Candy Cane) March 5th, 2017 - October 30th, 2017 Reefwise
  8. weston.bechtold

    Project Pico 2.6

    Hello all! Just started this account because I am excited to state that I finally started my dream pico tank! Im using a Fluval Spec 3 2.6 gallon all in one tank, with an adapted Kessil A80 Tuna Blue LED. I started this tank a little under a month ago and everything is going flawlessly. I am going for an aquarium full of LPS Euphyllia and a small zoanthid garden. Im running with a 6.5lb piece of live rock, and about an inch and a half of live sand. The only upgrade I performed on the tank is the return pump from the stock 29gph pump to a rio that does about 59gph. Also I use the stock pump as an additional powerhead to get a little more movement. Live stock so far in the tank is one (tiny) ocellaris clown, blood/fire shrimp and one turbo snail. For corals I have two torch corals a hammer coral and a small colony of what I think are rasta zoanthids.(Let me know if they are something different!) Tests are turning out to be... Ammonia-0 Nitrites-0 Nitrates-15 PH- 8-8.2 Calcium- 450ppm Magnesium- 1440 ppm Alkalinity- 11.9 dkh Im performing small 10% water changes about twice a week and everything seems to be happy and healthy. I am experiencing the typical Diatom algae and I was wondering if anyone could possible tell me what to do if this gets out of hand or to prevent it from getting out of hand. I dialed my light schedule down to 6 hours per day max. It isn't super visible in the images because I sifted the sand around a bit before the pictures were taken. Any feedback, criticism, or comments will be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PS. Quick story, the purple torch coral closest to the center actually split in half straight up the branch while I was trying to remove the frag plug!!! But I glued it back together on the outside of the skeleton and it seems to be very healthy. This incident took place just last night!!
  9. Harlequinn

    Cirque Du Reef

    Major Rookie alert! First reef ever, first pico ever, first contest entry ever! Over ambitious? Maybe scared I'll mess up? Hell Yea! The hobby caught my interest around a year back, thanks to @Shean and I've only learnt as much in theory about it. Super excited to get my hands dirty and learn more. Equipment So far: • my 2 gallon oddly shaped jar that looks like a circus tent • Power head for flow and movement • No heater needed considering I stay in India. Need I say more? • Hoping to receive our ABI tuna blue 12W lights soon since we had to get it shipped from the United States Concerns: • Getting our hands on equipment and corals since the hobby isn't as wide spread and supported in the country. • Clarity of the contents inside the jar due to the lovely shape I've chosen impulsively • Temperature control • Water Chemistry Will try and keep the updates as frequent as possible. Suggestions, criticism and tips more than needed and welcomed! P.S: fav condiment? Maggie tomato ketchup because it's different
  10. See https://www.picoaquariumsystems.com/
  11. EcoTech Vortech MP10 shallow shields for sale $30 FREE SHIPPING domestic only* PM PayPal e-mail address if you want one and I will invoice you. Will ship it right away! Review here:
  12. OK, Decided to enter the Creative Container Contest. Didn't think I'll have time, but I managed! Went to AC Moores and decided on a large wine glass. I hope no one else chose this, I didn't even go through all the entries yet to see what's been done (if it's already done, let me know and I'll find something else!). Snapped a quick pic at work. I probably won't get to fill it until this weekend since I am dog sitting. But it's a start! So far I got: Wine Glass container 20 lbs Argonite sand (don't worry, the bulk of it will go into my FW tank once I convert it!) Air stone (probably won't use a powerhead) Par38 Bulb that I already have (which may be an overkill in this set up)
  13. 1967type1

    1.5 pico

    So I’ve had an itch to start a pico reef the minute I started in this hobby. I’ve had a 1.5 mr. Aqua tank sitting around for a while now that would be a good start. The tank is being cleaned and ready. First question is how deep do you do a sand bed in a pico reef? Second what heater is both slim and short? Or I could run a longer heater horizontally in the back. Third LPS corals such as torches or hammers? Am I dreaming to big? Should I just stick with Zoas and shrooms? This is by far from my first tank. I know what I’m getting into. Any help would be great but please don’t treat me like a noob unless I’ve made a huge mistake. Thanks
  14. Most recent pic: DSC_2728 by Devon Fisher, on Flickr Original post: Hi all! I've been browsing around this site for a while now and decided to join. I've been keeping freshwater fish for about 2 years and decided to take the plunge into saltwater about 7 months ago with a 2.5 gallon tank sitting in my closet. At the time I didn't know what a pico reef was, or anything about the saltwater hobby. All the employees at my LFS tried to dissuade me from starting with a 2.5 gallon tank, but I'm super stubborn . After browsing around online and finding as much information as I could, I started my 2.5g reef in August 2016. in the beginning I wanted to have a single piece of live rock covered with pulsing xenia, but before long I became a little more ambitious. I've made a ton of mistakes along the way- battled the typical "new tank syndrome", cyano, had to replace my petco sand with aragonite, and moved the tank several times- but here's my tank today. My equipment includes: -Elite 25w heater, -aquatech 5-10 HOB filter, -and super duper cheap pennplex light (don't know the name, reason why my corals are brown:) for my filtration I am using filter floss and seachem Matrix. Livestock: Xenia, palythoas, birdsnest, frogspawn, candycane coral, montipora, acanthastrea, zoanthids, little gorgonian, GSP, bird of paradise and favites pentagona. I also have one blue-legged hermit crab and a hi fin red banded goby. All corals are unidentified and from the "Discount" section (except the birdsnest haha). Every week I change out 50% of the water and clean the HOB. I'm very much a newbie to picos and saltwater in general, so any advice would help!
  15. CAD-Aqua

    MINI All In One's

    The CAD Lights Mini Series is the perfect all-in-one aquarium for any level of hobbyist. Perfectly sizes to create a nano-reef or freshwater planted aquarium. Low iron glass makes for crystal clear viewing and intelligently designed filtration compartments will help you to maintain a stunning aquarium. 1/4" Low iron ultra clear glass with hand-curved corners Energy efficient LED clamp light Moonlighting Includes plumbing and pump Clean and clear silicone seams Comes with a single panel glass cover Specifications Dimensions: (12" x 12" x 13") Energy efficient Marine LED 3 Watt clip on light with moonlight setting 187 GPH return pump Cell cast acrylic filter wall Multi-habitat aquatic filtration system (Marine, Reef, or Freshwater) $210
  16. 10/8/17 - Tank has been moved into a new setup, link to new journal is here: New Tank So here is my little Pico reef. Including the AC70 filter mod the tank is right around 2.7 gallons. When I first started it this was my first attempt at saltwater and the tank was a plain glass aquarium and a cheap 6 X 3watt led fixture I bought off ebay. I had to remove the optics because you could clearly see the blue and white light in the water. I knew when I started this I didn't want a tank with a light hanging high above it or I would never be happy. The LEDs are currently about 2 1/2"s above the water level, it works, the tiny zoa Frag I first added has grown considerably from 10-12 heads to over 30. One of the two hammer corals I first added is still there, the other was eaten by a peppermint shrimp. It of course was the more attractive of the two. The remaining one was also torn up pretty good but is slowly coming back. I spent days reading forums from all over the net, anything to do with picos and decided that like a lot of others I wanted the tank to look like a piece of furniture instead of a glass box full of water. So after some measurements and several bad cuts I had the basic frame work finished. I had to empty the tank into a bucket and then paint the back of the glass and attach the wood to the framework. Everything survived in the bucket for about a two days while I worked. Here are some pictures of the original tank and some variations of the rockwork that have changed over the past couple months.
  17. diddy2k

    Half Gallon Pico Jar

    It's been a while, and I had that itch again. Just started (well, brought to work after cycle) a jar for my desk. I wanted a lamp because sometimes we keep the lights off in the office. Instant inspiration. The "lamp that grows coral" was born. Welcome to the the journal. Installed 07/20/2017. COMPONENTS AND MATERIALS - Ball Wide Mouth Half Gallon Mason Jar - EcoPlus Eco Air 1 - Jebao Pp300Lv Water Pump 40 GPH (for water changes) - 15W E27 Warm White LED Bulb (lens removed) - (2) Royal Blue, (1) Blue, (1) UV, (1) Warm White LEDs - 1/2" PVC pipe (light stand) - Pipe fittings: (3) 90 sxs, (1) T - Aquarium airline tubing - Plexiglass (lid and led splash guard) - Spray shellac (for metal ring) - E27 bulb socket - Epoxy ---------- INHABITANTS - 1lb live rock - (2) Blue Leg Hermit - (2) Bristle Worms - (1) Stomatella Snail ---------- CORAL FRAGS - (1) Aussie Big Polyp Blastomussa - Single head - (1) Fiji Bam Bam Orange Zoanthid - Large polyp with 4 baby buds
  18. Hello all! just discovered this site and forum, giving the Aquarium Diary a try.. I decided after years of running planted, freshwater tanks that it's time to advance into something more challenging. My freshwater tanks were 55 gal and 2 ten gal, with a couple terrarium type Betta "tanks" spread about the house. Now I am down to one 10 gal freshwater and the newer beginnings of a salt water 6 gal. Nano tank. It is a Fluval 6 G on 3rd week of cycling. My hope is that the tank will not be high tech, I love some of the Nano and Pico tank designs shown on this site and they are so inspiring. this Nano was started in part because the entire Refugium thing is a bit confusing and seems more complicated than just running a Nano tank without one. So here it goes as of today; Tank- Fluval 6 gal cube (originally a freshwater tank retired to the garage) Filter- well currently its a no brand name with sponge, no media, for 10 G with spray bar removed to provide more of a wave type circulation, seems to work. 50 W heater - no brand from china Current inhabitants; 2 Hermit Crabs, 2 roundish looking snails, and somehow i inherited a soft coral (i think?) that the LFS had put in my bag along with the snails. see photo below. no idea what type of soft coral it is but too far to drive to return it and i cant beat free (frag?). I didn't think my tank would be ready for corals yet though but the thing has not died so far , possibly could be more green looking but that could be the lighting? I've been looking through photos online but either the coral is NOT happy so doesn't look the way it should or i'm not knowledgeable enough to identify it. Lighting- is currently a Fluval Halo LED, it does switch from blue to white manually but its a crappy light, the new but small light for this tank will be delivered Monday. I have learned to turn off all lighting for water changes and that has seemed to help., the new light yet to arrive is here; Amazon.com- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071LJC8HL/ref=pe_861660_138883610_fxm_4_0_n_id No skimmer or refuge thing, doing daily water changes of 1 gallon (trying to control nitrates and ammonia) combined with a 9$ filter, 14$ heater and a inexpensive light from amazon on the way. Current water testing shows: Salinity 0.24- Salt is Red Sea Pro and mixed myself after purchasing poor quality and low salinity from LFS, i gave up threw all the purchased salt water out and started over with my own mix using their RO water ( though i tested it first). Lesson 2 learned, always test all water prior to adding to tank. (lesson 1, don't start a saltwater tank without more research and all supplies) Ammonia Zero to .25 ppm (its kinda hard to read but in the middle of that) Nitrates no. 3, 5 to 10 ppm So far everything seems happy even with some nitrates and ammonia, lighting is an issue hence new light on the way. I did observe some rock bleaching initially so until the new light arrives i am using the blue light more often, then switch on the white light for an hour or so (or when i see the coral close up)., trying to gradually extend the daylight time to 12 hours then hopefully the new light will be here and we can do it right with a timer. My first observation; Was having some difficulty getting to the correct salinity level due to odd advice (well now i know), and purchasing premix from my LFS, which tells me immediately that if I create a much larger tank i may be mixing own and having a RO/DI system in place. week 1 was daily water changes of more than 40% trying to get a stabilized salinity due to a combination of advice received from 4 LFS that we visited. Mainly what they thought mine should be, and what salinity theirs actually was compared to what they said it was at. after throwing it all down the drain in frustration I mixed my own and got above the . 16 i was getting from theirs. After applying some tips learned in the Reef.com forums things have calmed down. Salinity is at a more acceptable level and my creatures are doing well so far, the coral I recently acquired doesn't seem to be doing too badly, it must be of a hardy variety. My hope is to make this mainly a coral tank with some inverts and maybe a Goby so as soon as ammonia and nitrates more in control ill be starting to obtain a collection of Soft Corals then possibly a small fish, i might add one more crab too., they are sorta cool. I am researching fish though since was hoping for something more interesting than a Goby. Originally i was thinking there would be some soft coral and a small clown fish but now sorta feel it wouldn't be fair to the fish to be in such a small tank. I feed the inverts a sliver of frozen shrimp every other day so as not to pollute my tank but initially the LFS told me to feed Bloodworms which they refused to eat and just polluted the tank. Haven't noticed any Algea yet and it sounds like i need some to grow before the tank is considered established. The hermit crabs have chosen new shells from a few I placed in the tank to keep them away from my snails and their pretty shells. So that is all for now, gonna see how this goes and will give an update next week after the new light arrives. Thank you for letting me participate and i appreciate greatly any advice anyone offers by way of comments to the diary.
  19. Reid_bry

    Reid's 5.5 Pico Reef

    Set up date: August 20, 2016 So this is my first venture into salt water. I have had very minimal experience with fresh water tanks too so this is all very new to me. However I have been obsessing with nano and pico reefs for about a year now! Hopefully it all goes well Aquascape: It was super important to me that the aquascaping looked great from four places. First my door when you first walk in. First impressions are important and most people only ever see my room from the hall. It sits on the right side of my desk and I really love how it looks from my computer chair. I have a perfect view of the cave on the right side and I hope something neat moves in. Finally you can see it from my bed. Now this angle is probably the least important and looks the worst. However I'm sure a few corals would make it look ok. So I was wondering if anyone had any advice for my aquascape? I really am not to happy with the left rock I got from brs but don't know what to do to make it interesting . Equipment: Hydor pico power head 25w hydor heater Painted 5.5 gallon aqueon tank I ordered an incandescent lid for it that i am going to put a coralife 50/50 bulb in until I save up for a nicer sps capable light. Overall I am so so excited for this tank and I can't wait for it to be cycled!!!! Full sized pictures: http://imgur.com/a/fga3z
  20. Ranjib

    Kessil control telemetry in adafruit.io

    Bozeman, one of my pico tank's lighting cycle values. Kessil A80, controller by reef-pi. reef-pi has been configured to send telemetry data to adafruit.io, where IoT data is stored and graphs are made.,
  21. Picorefer

    Beginner Pico Reefer

    Hello everyone! I am fairly new to the reefing hobby (experience wise) however I've kept freshwater tanks my whole life and after recently selling my African cichlid tank I decided I needed another challenge, something more manageable. After lots of research I found so many amazing little pico tanks under 5 gallons and their simplicity along with their beauty amazed me. I then decided I was going to transform an old 1 gallon betta tank into my own little slice of the ocean. I started with about 1 1/2 pounds of LR for the tank. Next I used some LR rubble along with some LS and Chaeto for a refugium that I made from an old penguin bio-wheel filter. I am using a strip fluorescent light that seems to grow the Chaeto very well.I let the tank cycle for about 6 weeks before adding a turbo and an emerald crab. About two months later I decided to add a feather duster and a chocolate chip starfish. The pod population is unreal! The little suckers are crawling over just about every surface. Nitrates and nitrites stay close to 0 and ammonia stays below .5 . I have only performed one water change. Top offs are daily. Any advice would be great as I still am brand new to this whole feeding thing! Any suggestions for coral additions would be greatly appreciated also. (Pictures taken today)
  22. darcyb

    Nuvo 4 gallon lighting

    Hey everyone Ive decided to start a new even smaller tank hahah, while my nuvo 10 is cruising along nicely. Ive recently started cycling a nuvo 4 gallon pico and man am i stuck on what lighting to buy... i want to know everyone's thoughts on a suitable fixture for it, like the kessil a80, Ai prime or like a CC par 30 bulb. I want to/will put 1 or 2 sps frags in it but it will be mainly filled with lps and softies. As for like stock probably a porcelain crab and 1 or 2 sexy shrimp ? + CUC
  23. ReefKeeperNoob

    LIGHTING HELP PLEASE.

    I have a 10 gallon reef with a marine orbits pro for lighting, my question is.. How high should I run this light for best growth and colors? I currently have 3 different zoas, hairy mushroom colony, one open brain coral, gsp colony, frogspawn, and hammers.. right now I'm running 100% blue and 65% white.. the tank size is a traditional 10 gallon aquarium its made by top fin, these are the dimensions for that tank 10.1" Long, 20.1 " Wide, 14.1" High.. are my light to high right now or to dim? Please help me out.. here is a link to the exact light I'm using (18"-24" model) and a pic of my tank, thanks for all the help! http://current-usa.com/aquarium-led-lights/orbit-marine-fixtures/orbit-marine-pro/
  24. thespinningsadhu

    Quick filtration question...

    Quick question - if I'm not doing a refugium and plan to just put filter floss and a ChemiPure sachet in my AquaClear 50 that I'll put on the JBJ 3 gallon how much do I put in there? Do I stuff it to the gills? The little filter that came with the tank fits one of the nano sachets perfectly. I've not seen the AC50 in person yet but I imagine a little sachet would bob around. I did manage to find that more than one nano sachet for a tank this size is too much. I imagine if I were to put enough floss in there I could sandwich the sachet between layers of floss - but I think this would mean a ton of floss.
  25. IfYouAskNicely

    My first SW tank, a 2.5g

    Hello! So, I've been interested in biology in general from a pretty young age, I've had and still have various freshwater tanks since before middle school or so, and I'm going into my senior year of college now in San Diego(pretty moderate climate). A half a year ago or so I got the saltwater bug, and have been lurking on a bunch of forums and such learning about corals specifically. The final straw was when my boss, who has a 300 gallon reef tank at my work, told me that he would give me frags for free from pretty much any coral in his tank. So, I decided to make a reef tank, with the goal in mind that I'm a broke ass college student and so I'm going to spend as little money as possible. I've read all over the place about how the bigger the saltwater the tank, the easier it is to maintain, but that's obviously not 100% true as evidenced by everyone's experiences here. I decided to go for a challenge for my first saltwater tank by using a 2.5 gallon vase, and Maritza the Vase Reef was some of my primary inspiration. The only equipment running in it are an airline and a heater(and a battery powered thermometer to check the heaters not fritzing), as well as the light which is a I think 10watt compact flourescent 50/50 bulb. My phone's super crappy right now, so I'm going to try and borrow someone else's for a little and then I will upload pictures. It has been running for probably four months or so now. The first month was rough but I attribute that to the fact that I used an old heater, it malfunctioned and basically turned everything to soup. Since then though I've been steadily adding more and more corals, sometimes 3 a week, sometimes I won't add any for a month. The only not coral livestock I put in there that didn't come with the live rock is a small hermit crab and a bumpy red crab I took from the tidepools(sshhhhhhh). The only coral deaths I've had have been mushrooms which weren't able to attach high enough and were pulled into the bumpy crabs lair and eaten, and a small stock of pulsing Xenia which shriveled up over the course of a month or so. All the corals I have now are growing or at least static in their growth and don't seem unhealthy. I've heard that pulsing Xenia actually like slightly higher nitrate and phosphate levels, and so that's why I think they died, because my maintenance consists of weekly 90-100% water changes/glass scrubbing as well as taking the main rock out and scrubbing algae and detritus off with a toothbrush. I do the huge water changes because the tank is so small, and I also put quite a bit of reef roids into the tank the day before I clean it and change the water. Another thing which is fairly unconventional, but I haven't tested my water in any way since starting the tank. I rely on the fact that I buy premixed water from a reputable store and change basically all my water out with fresh water with the right parameters. Yes I still top off with RO/DI water from evaporation, I just keep the water level consistent though instead of using a refractometer. Only reason I don't test is because I'm on a tight budget. I have a feather worm in there and I've heard that they are VERY sensitive to water conditions and so I just make sure he's doing good and all is well. I'll try and upload pictures later today!
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